First post to the forums, but I've been reading for a few years.
Been a musician (not professional) for the majority of my life, but the pleasures of quality audio equipment didn't peak my interest, or match my pocket book, until just a few years ago.
I mostly listen from the desktop I built. I bought the ATH-M50's as an intro pair because the price was right and the reviews qualified the purchase. I use Foobar2k with WASAPI plug-in from my on-board realtek. Now I'm looking to upgrade.
I listen to a wide range of music so the M50's worked well enough. I found the mids a little lacking, and the highs(especially in electronic music) without EQ adjustments to be a little harsh until I got a good 40+ hours into them. The sound stage also felt a little claustrophobic for some music but good for movies and decent for gaming. My real issue was comfort. The clamping (even after time and stretching) is still a little strong for my apparently gigantic dome . Heat is also an issue. I started off with "was" because I replaced the pads with the Beyer 250 velour pads and that worked wonders, but also has a few draw backs. Problems aside, I really enjoy their energy. Overall the M50's were a great step-up from my previous equipment, but now my new addiction....errr, hobby wants to take the next step. Anyway.
Back story aside, a fair amount of research has pointed me to the Mad Dogs. $500 is basically my ceiling. The MD's with the Magni/Modi seems like it would be a quality step up from where I am currently and right at my price point.
-- What are your thoughts?
1. Can anyone comment on the MD's with just the Magni from an on-board sound card vs M/M combo?
2. Would an O2 DAC/AMP combo be worth the extra money over the M/M combo? Or other DAC/AMP combo in the $200ish range?
3. Am I taking too big a step up from the M50's to really appreciate the MD's?
4. Anyone know of a place in Orange County, California that I could preview some Mad Dogs?
Sorry the post is so long. I look forward to your feedback.
Edited by Kamakahah - 1/21/13 at 8:39pm